Month: November 2017

Are you serious about  becoming better as a speaker? Here is your chance to really take your speaking career to the next level in an intense but inspiring way.

After being a professional speaker for 20+ years, and after mentoring 100+ speakers and speaking at speaker conventions on 4 continents (soon 5) I have decided – for the first time! – to dedicate myself to teach at full blown speaker retreat where I will teach all I know about professional speaking for 4 days (!) together with the amazing online-marketing expert James Taylor and skilled voice coach  Alison Burns.

I know of no-one who knows more about how to do online-marketing for speakers than James Taylor and to get a chance to spend four days with him is a treat that anyone interested in building a modern speaking career should grab.

For my own part I can promise that I will share everything I know about how to build a career as a global keynote speaker and I really look forward to – for the first time ever – go deep and share extensively what I have learned from building a global speaking career that today have me speaking in 20+ countries per year.

This event comes at a cost, but based on what you get I find it very reasonable. four days on Sicily, including meals and loads and loads of learning.

I have chosen to post the whole event information below. Hope to see you in Italy in May 2018!


How would you like to spend four days on an Italian island crafting your new signature speech, improving your presentation and stage skills, and discovering strategies for getting booked on global stages?

This video has all the details.

Yesterday we began accepting applications for our 1st International Speakers Retreat in Sicily, Italy and we’d love if you would consider joining us.

Our guest speaker coach will be Fredrik Haren, one of the world’s leading keynote speakers. He has shared the stage with Richard Branson, Seth Godin and Sheryl Sandberg and has spoken in more than 60 countries! See below what his students say.

There is one problem however. We only have space for 30 students on this retreat and we’ll begin accepting the first applicants this Friday!

Click here to apply

So whether you’ve been speaking professionally for years or you’re just starting in your speaking career, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the craft, art and business of speaking over four days at this immersive retreat.

But it gets even better…

Successful applicants will also receive over $2,500 worth of bonuses including our new International Speakers online course, a 1-on-1 coaching session with Fredrik Haren, VIP Passes to two of our online events, plus much much more.

See all the bonuses here.

It’s going to be an amazing four days and nights of learning how to launch, grow and monetize your message as a global keynote speaker.

I hope you decide to join Fredrik, myself and your fellow speakers in Italy.

— James

P.S. Why not have your partner join you in Italy.
We’ve got a special Partner Package just for them.


“Ever since I first saw Fredrik speak 6 years ago, I’ve greatly admired him as a speaker. In our mentoring sessions, the questions he asked, the ideas he shared, the feedback he gave after watching my speech were all stunningly helpful.
In the two weeks following one mentoring session, I had my first standing ovation in Asia (they’re rare in Asia!), and a speech to another client resulted in them booking me for four further talks the same month. His framework of helping speakers to discover their inner theme is profound and transformative.”

– Rob Lilwall

“I had been struggling to find my inner theme for some time. Oh sure, I have my business The Digital Conversationalist, but my inner theme is deeper than that. It’s that core ability I have, and I always believe core abilities are often the hardest thing to see in ourselves. It was amazing having that time with Fredrik, watching him weave his magic. It also gives me greater confidence in the message I am seeking to share.”

– Andrea Edwards

“I want to express my gratitude for the extraordinary value, time and effort that Fredrik took to mentor me. To watch my talks, write notes and share his creative suggestions in the most authentic, helpful and professional way. Fredrik is also an inspiration of the ethics of the speaking profession and how delivering value always trumps marketing.”

– Avi Liran

“Having been through Fredrik’s session I would not only highly recommend it to anyone struggling with the million and one ideas in your head, but even for those of us who think we are sure and we are clear. It is just amazing the light that Fredrik is able to shine on your idea(s). Whether you are a budding SPEAKER or AUTHOR, or one needing clarity on your next big idea, or even if you think you are on the threshold of something HUGE… Fredrik TODAY.”

– Roshini Ganeshan

“I was so passionate towards being a public speaker and specifically a Keynote Speaker. But I did not know how to do it. The 45 minute mentoring session I had with Fredrik opened a new dimension to my life. The questions Fredrik asked, made me think. The tasks that he gave me to improve my passion were simple, but powerful.The words of encouragement by Fredrik made me to immediately jump into action. Thank you so much Fredrik for motivating, inspiring me and making me take an action towards what I love.”

– Narendran Narasimhan
“What I have been trying to do for the last 3 years, Fredrik managed in 35 minutes. In an extremely powerful coaching session he helped me discover my message to the world.
I left the session feeling electric, and super excited about the possibilities! Absolutely unbelievable – and life changing.”

– Theo Davies

“An experienced trainer and coach myself, I was stuck – I felt that my vision had subtly changed over the years until it didn’t fully resonate any more but I couldn’t see the way forward.
Fredrik’s insightful questioning, feedback and never-give-up attitude helped me shift that in just over an hour. He was able to show me a completely different perspective and way of looking at my work and business. This perspective has helped me tremendously in moving forward. So if you haven’t worked with Fredrik before – what are you waiting for?”

– Meenakshi Sarup
“I have been working on my positioning for a long time and felt that I was only halfway… something was missing. I contacted Fredrik for some advise regarding industry trends that could help me with my direction. What I got was an deep experience. He guided me through, to discover my red thread in life and linking it to the inner theme. Having a quite analytical mind, I was of course a bit skeptic directly afterwards, it cannot be that easy.
I mean, I have done so much work on my professional development and taken help from several advisors without getting this far. But I have now had time to reflect, taste it, see how it maps to the way I do things and when I read old notes and articles I have written I can see it shine through. What was unseen is now seen and it has given me a foundation to build my decisions upon which keeps me focused. I can highly recommend Fredrik.”

– Mia Liljeberg


Interested? Sign up here.


“It felt like I was walking inside your brain.”

That was the quote I got from a fellow speaker who came up to me after I recently did a speech in South Africa. He continued:

“It was like we were inside your neurones, like we could experience the way you think.”

That might just be the most beautiful review I have gotten on a speech by a fellow speaker in a long time.

Why do I like it so much?

Because so many speakers ask me about “the structure” of a keynote.

Like if there is a “formula” for a good keynote.

I think people who approach speaking like that approach it from the wrong angle.

A great speech is individual, personal and genuine.

It’s you sharing your inner thoughts and ideas on a topic that is dear to you.

Of course structure is important, but do not start with it.

End with it.

Start with understanding your own thoughts, your own message.

Go on a walk inside your brain.

You would never discuss how to cut a diamond before actually seeing the diamond.

And you should not talk about how to structure your thoughts before first having a very clear idea of the message that is inside of you.

And instead of trying to “press” that message into a structure you should embrace the uniqueness of your thought-process and try to build a structure based on those thoughts.

And here is the good news: If you do have a very good idea about what your inner thoughts about your speech topic is, then the structure will often almost reveal itself.

Just like it will be easy to decide how to cut a diamond if you have spent time looking at its characteristics.

so, let the audience into your inner thoughts.

Invite them into your mind.




“That speech made me uncomfortable!”

The words came from Mohammed Ismaeel, SVP Marketing, CEMEA for VISA at he went up on stage to deliver his speech at the VISA CEMEA Leadership Meeting.

Mohammed was referring to the speech that I had delivered on the same stage just minutes before.

Now, many non-speakers might feel uncomfortable if someone goes up and referencing your speech as making them feel uncomfortable, but I smiled, because to me, as a professional speaker, the fact that my speech has made someone “uncomfortable” is a sign of success.

Mohammed continued from the stage: “A great speech should shake you up, make you think, move you outside your comfort zone. And that is just how I feel right now.”


Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 11.07.50


In the break after our speeches I went up to Mohammed and asked him to elaborate. He told me that as a VP of Marketing of VISA he instructs his agencies to come up with ideas that make him, as a client, feel uncomfortable.

He does that for the same reason he wants a speech to make him uncomfortable – he wants to be mentally moved. He wants to be pushed.

In my speech for VISA today I pushed the audience hard, and I did it because VISA is in the eye of the storm when it comes to change – “fintech” the innovation and disruption happening in the financial sector thanks to technology –  is almost mind-blowing and VISA is in the middle of all of that.

That means that VISA needs to be good at seeing, understanding and reacting to change.

Thus the reason that I was invited as the only external keynote speaker when 150 of the top managers of VISA at the VISA CEMEA Leadership Meeting at Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

To make an audience feel uncomfortable is risky – but rewarding.

Done wrong and the audience can turn on you.

Done well and the audience gets moved.

So how do you strike the right balance of pushing without pushing too far?

First of all: Be very observant of how the audience is reacting.

Push gently first and then push slightly more and more until you feel you get push-back.

Second: It helps if you remember that the word “uncomfortable” comes from “comfortable” with a “not” infront of it. In other words, you are there to make them “not be comfortable”. I like that way of thinking more than thinking of “uncomfortable” as meaning: “causing or feeling unease or awkwardness” which is the dictionary’s definition of “uncomfortable”.

Questions to ask as a speaker before you go up on stage next time:

  • Am I pushing the audience far enough?
    and at the same time:
  • How do I make sure I do not push them too much?

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